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Capital, Wages and Growth: Theory and Evidence

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  • Almond, Douglas
  • Ciccone, Antonio
  • Peri, Giovanni

Abstract

Returns to scale to capital and the strength of capital externalities play a key role for the empirical predictions and policy implications of different growth theories. We show that both can be identified with individual wage data and implement our approach at the city-level using US Census data on individuals in 173 cities for 1970, 1980, and 1990. Estimation takes into account fixed effects, endogeneity of capital accumulation, and measurement error. We find no evidence for human or physical capital externalities and decreasing aggregate returns to capital. Returns to scale to physical and human capital are around 80 percent. We also find strong complementarities between human capital and labor and substantial total employment externalities.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2199.

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Date of creation: Aug 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2199

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Keywords: Capital Externalities; Cities; Complementarities; Human Capital; Returns to Scale to Capital; Scale Effects;

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References

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  1. Etsuro Shioji, 1997. "Convergence in panel data: Evidence from the skipping estimation," Economics Working Papers 235, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  3. James E. Rauch, 1991. "Productivity Gains From Geographic Concentration of human Capital: Evidence From the Cities," NBER Working Papers 3905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
  5. Sergio T. Rebelo, 1990. "Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 3325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  7. Acemoglu, Daron, 1996. "A Microfoundation for Social Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 779-804, August.
  8. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Esther Vaya Valcarce & Enrique Lopez Bazo & Manuel Artis Ortuno, 1998. "Growth, convergence and (why not?) regional externalities," Working Papers in Economics 31, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  10. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  11. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  12. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1993. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 4313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Human capital externalities in cities," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 51, pages 2243-2291 Elsevier.
  15. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Mori, Tomoya & Turrini, Alessandro, 2005. "Skills, agglomeration and segmentation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 201-225, January.
  2. Ramos, Raul & Sanroma, Esteban, 1999. "Local human capital and external economies: evidence for Spain," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa309, European Regional Science Association.
  3. Esteban Sanroma Melendez & Raul Ramos Lobo, 2001. "Capital humano local y productividad en las provincias espanolas," Working Papers in Economics 71, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  4. Ciccone, Antonio & Peri, Giovanni, 2000. "Human Capital and Externalities in Cities," CEPR Discussion Papers 2599, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Huw Lloyd-Ellis, 2003. "On the Impact of Inequality on Productivity Growth in the Short and Long Term: A Synthesis," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 29(s1), pages 65-86, January.

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